He may be retired from the Singapore Armed Forces, but when Mr Lim Puay Sia saw a car on fire on Saturday while driving along Rochor Canal Road, the 65-year-old immediately swung into action.
Grabbing a fire extinguisher he kept in the boot of his car, Mr Lim told his wife to stay put before rushing to put out the flames.
"At first, it seemed like it was working. But even as I tried to put it out, the fire spread and got bigger," said Mr Lim, a member of Teck Ghee's Community Emergency and Engagement Committee.
Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) firefighters as well as police officers can be seen in action in video clips that Mr Lim gave The Straits Times.
A fireman can be seen dousing the flames which had engulfed the car, sending clouds of smoke billowing from the vehicle.
Mr Lim, who held the rank of master warrant officer at age 55 before transferring to the civilian track as a defence executive officer, was first at the scene at around 3.50pm.
He said he did not see the driver of the car anywhere. "I was there for about 45 minutes, and the police were still looking for him," he said.
The SCDF said it was alerted to the incident at the junction of Syed Alwi Road and Rochor Canal Road, and its firefighters used two water jets to extinguish the fire which involved the car's engine compartment.
No injuries were reported.